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Timeline of Israel's History

Israel's History

Why it’s so important to understand a brief overview of the historical periods of Israel.

 

The Holy Land is an old place, about the oldest in the world! While in the Holy Land, you’ll be seeing things as old as 6,000 years. That’s old! Different periods of history will be referred to when describing Israel’s holy sites and places. Please realize that there will likely be several key events at a particular site that have taken place there. Each event will have happened during a specific period in Israel’s history. If you can understand the different periods a little, you’ll get much more out of your experience. 

 

Chronology of Time Used by Archaeologist and Historians

 

  • Early Bronze Age   4000–2000 BC

  • Middle Bronze Age   2000–1500 BC

  • Late Bronze Age   1500–1200 BC

  • Iron 1 Age   1200–1000 BC

  • Iron 2 Age   1000–586 BC

 

Canaanite Period   4000–1875 BC

 

  • 4000 BC – Canaanites inhabit the land of Israel.

  • 2500 BC – Noah and the Great Flood.

  • 2100 BC – Tower of Babel

  • 2095 BC – Abraham moves to the land of Canaan from Ur of the Chaldeans.

  • 1880 BC ¬– Jacob and his family move to Egypt to live with Joseph.

 

Israelite Period   1450–965 BC

 

  • 1450 BC – Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.

  • 1406 BC – Jews enter the Promised Land.

  • 1012 BC – Saul unifies the 12 Hebrew tribes into the United Kingdom of Israel.

  • 1004–965 BC ¬– David's reign.

First Temple Period   965–586 BC

 

  • 965–925 BC – Solomon’s reign; glory years of the Kingdom of Israel.

  • 950 BC – Solomon builds the magnificent temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem (same place Abraham intended to sacrifice Isaac).

  • 926 BC – Kingdom of Israel divides because of Solomon’s sins. Jeroboam reigns over the northern Kingdom of Israel from Samaria. Rehoboam reigns over the southern Kingdom of Israel from Jerusalem.

  • 722 BC – Assyrians conquer and deport most of the northern Kingdom of Israel to Assyria.

  • 586 BC – Babylonians conquer Jerusalem and Judah under Nebuchadnezzar and deport most of the southern Kingdom of Judah to Babylon.

Second Temple Period   538–444 BC

 

  • 538 BC – Many Jews return from Babylonia; Second Temple began to be rebuilt.

  • 458 BC – Ezra returns to Jerusalem with second wave of Jews to continue rebuilding the Second Temple.

  • 444 BC – Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls.

 

Hellenistic Period (Greek Rule)   333–167 BC

 

  • 333 BC – Alexander the Great defeats the Persian Empire and sets out to conquer the world. After his sudden death in 323 BC, the Greek Empire is divided. During this period the Bible is translated into Greek (the Septuagint).

Hasmonean Period (Maccabean Rule)   167–63 BC

 

  • 167 BC – When the Jews were prohibited from practicing Judaism, and their temple was desecrated as part of an effort to impose Greek-oriented culture and customs on the entire population, the Jews revolted. First led by Mattathias of the priestly Hasmonean family and then by his son Judah the Maccabee, the Jews subsequently entered Jerusalem and purified the temple. This purification of the temple is remembered by the Jewish Holiday, Hanukkah (164 BC). 

 

Roman Period (Roman Rule)   63 BC–330 AD

 

  • 63 BC – Jerusalem is captured by Roman general Pompey.

  • 37 BC–4 BC – Herod, Roman vassal king, rules the Land of Israel.  He enlarges the Temple Mount and rebuilds the temple. He also builds other monumental projects, including Caesarea, Herodian, Cave of the Patriarchs, and Masada.

  • 4 BC – Jesus is born in Bethlehem.

  • 27–30 AD – Ministry of Jesus.

  • 30 AD – Jesus crucified.

  • 66 AD – Jewish revolt against the Romans.

  • 70 AD – Destruction of Jerusalem and Second Temple.

  • 74 AD – Fall of Masada.

  • 132 AD – Bar Kokhba Revolt. Roman Emperor Hadrian destroys Jerusalem and builds Aelia Capitolina, a pagan city in its place. Many holy sites are preserved, but with pagan shrines on them.

Byzantine Period (Eastern Roman Empire Rule)   330–614 AD

 

  • 313 – Emperor Constantine recognizes Christianity, later becoming a Christian himself.

  • 326 – Constantine’s mother, Helena, goes to the Holy Land and builds many churches and basilicas on holy sites. 

 

Persian Period   614–628 AD

 

  • 614 – Persian conquest of the Holy Land. Many churches and monasteries destroyed.

  • Byzantine Period Reestablished   628–638 AD

  • 628 – Holy Land recaptured by the Byzantines.

Muslim/Arab Period   638–1099 AD

 

  • 638 – Muslim/Arab conquest of the Holy Land completed. Rule is by Caliphs from Damascus, then from Baghdad, and then Egypt.

  • 691 – On top of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock is built by Caliph Abd el-Malik.

 

Crusader Period   1099–1291 AD

 

  • 1099 – Crusaders (Catholic armies from Rome) conquer Jerusalem and many parts of Israel.

  • 1147 – Second Crusade arrives in the Holy Land.

  • 1187 – Destruction of the Crusader army by Muslim leader Saladin. Collapse of Crusader Kingdom begins.

  • 1265 – Mamelukes, led by Sultan Beybars, conquer the Holy Land.

  • 1270 – Final Crusade arrives, and all its participants are massacred.

  • 1291 – Last Crusader stronghold of Acco taken, ending Crusader rule.

 

Mamluk (Muslim) Period   1291–1517 AD

 

  • 1291 – Mamluk rule begins.

  • 1333 – Franciscan Order established in Jerusalem. Its members care for holy places and pilgrims.

  • By the end of the Middle Ages, the country’s urban centers were virtually in ruins, most of Jerusalem was abandoned, and the small Jewish community was poverty-stricken. The period of Mamluk decline was darkened by political and economic upheavals, plagues, locust invasions, and devastating earthquakes.

Ottoman (Muslim) Period   1517–1917 AD

 

  • 1517 – Following the Ottoman conquest in 1517, the land was divided into four districts and attached administratively to the province of Damascus and ruled from Istanbul.

  • 1520 – Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilds the city walls of Jerusalem.

  • 1799 – Napoleon Bonaparte invades Israel but fails to capture it and is forced to leave.

  • 1860 – The first neighborhood, Mishkenot Sha'ananim, is built outside of Jerusalem’s city walls.

  • 1882 – First large-scale immigration to Israel, mainly from Russia.

  • 1904 – Second large-scale immigration from Russia and Poland.

 

British Period   1917–1948 AD

 

  • 1917 – British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour issued on November 2, 1917, the so-called Balfour Declaration, which gave official support for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” with the commitment not to be prejudiced against the rights of the non-Jewish communities.

  • 1947 – The United Nations approved the partition of Israel into separate Jewish and Arab states on November 29, 1947.

 

State of Israel Period   1948 to Present

 

  • 1948 – On the day when the British Mandate in Palestine expired, the State of Israel was instituted on May 14, 1948, by the Jewish National Council under the presidency of David Ben Gurion.

  • 1948–1949 – The Arab-Israeli War; the Arabs refused to accept the newly established State of Israel. Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, and Iraq attack Israel, but within a year, Israel defeated its attackers.

  • 1950 – Western Jerusalem was proclaimed the capital city of Israel on January 23, 1950.

  • 1956 – The Suez Crisis: Israelis invade Egyptian territory in October of 1956.

  • 1956 – After Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the company which administered the Suez Canal, a joint attack by the French and British was launched. Egypt suffered military disaster in November 2, 1956. Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula, but after international condemnation, Israel was forced to withdraw.

  • 1967 – Six-Day War: after Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran on May 22, 1967, Israel launched an attack on Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian, and Iraqi airports on June 5, 1967. After six days, Israel conquered Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Sinai, and the West Bank.

  • 1973 – Yom Kippur War: on October 6, 1973, on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Syria and Egypt launched a surprise attack against Israel. After initial success of the attackers, Israel managed to cross the Suez into Egypt and endangered Cairo. After the intervention of the USA and USSR, military operations ended on October 25, 1973.

  • 1978 – The Camp David Accord was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Menahen Begin, and Egyptian President Anvar as Sadat in September 1978, in Camp David, USA. Israel agreed to withdraw from the occupied Sinai Peninsula.

  • 1979 – The Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty was signed on March 26, 1979, in Washington.

Biblical Sites of Israel

 

Israel Overview Tour of All Biblical Sites

 
Jerusalem Sites

 

Jerusalem Overview

Jerusalem Holy Sites Overview

 

Antonia Fortress

Chapel of the Ascension: Ascension & Return of Christ

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

City of David Overview

 

Dominus Flevit Church: Triumphal Entry

Eastern Gate

 

Garden of Gethsemane

 

Garden Tomb: Resurrection of Christ

 

Gethsemane to Golgotha:

Christ's Path to the Cross

Hezekiah's Broad Wall

 

Hinnom Valley Overview

 

House of Caiaphas: Peter's Denial of Christ

 

Kidron Valley: Judgment of God

 

Mary's Tomb

 

Mount of Olives Overview

 

Pater Noster Church: Lord's Prayer

Pilate's Palace: Trial of Jesus

Pool of Bethesda & St. Anne 

Church

 

Pool of Siloam

Prophecy, Proof the Bible Is True: Mount of Olives

 

Solomon's Temple

Temple Mount Overview

Temple Location

 

Temple Southern Stairs

 

Temple Cleansing by Jesus

 

Temple & the Early Church

Tomb of the Prophets

 

The Upper Room

Via Dolorosa

 

History Of Jerusalem's Walls and Gates

 

Western Wall & Tunnels Tour

Other Sites In Jerusalem

 
Sea of Galilee Sites

 

Sea of Galilee Overview

 

Bethsaida

 

Calling of the Disciples

 

Capernaum Overview

 

Chorazin

 

Feeding of the 5,000

 

Jesus Walks on Water, Calms the Sea

 

Kursi: Demonic Man Healed

 

Magdala: Mary Magdalene

 

Mount Arbel: The Great Commission

Mount of Beatitudes

 

Sower's Cove: Parables of the Kingdom

 

Tabgha: Restoration of Peter

Yardenit Baptismal Site

Other Sites Around the Sea of Galilee

Northern Israel Sites

 

Beth Shean

Beth Shean Amphitheater

 

Caesarea Maritima

 

Caesarea Philippi

 

Cana: First Miracle of Jesus

Dan (City of Dan)

Gideon's Spring

Hazor

Jordan River Overview

Megiddo: Armageddon

 

Mount Carmel & Elijah

Mount Tabor: Transfiguration of Christ

 

Nazareth Overview

 

Nazareth: Church of Annunciation

 

Nazareth: Mt. Precipice

Sepphoris (Tsipori, Zippori)

 

Other Sites In Northern Israel

 

Central Israel Sites

 

Ai

 

Bethel

Beth-Shemesh

 

Emmaus Road 

 

Gezer: On Crossroads of the World

Gibeon - Nabi Samwil

 

Gilgal

Inn of the Good Samaritan

 

Jericho ~ Tell Es-Sultan

 

Joppa (Jaffa, Yafo) Overview

Jordan River: Crossing into the Promised Land

Jordan River Baptismal Site of Jesus (Qsar al-Yahud)

Judean Wilderness

Judean Wilderness: Testing of Jesus

Qumran: Dead Sea Scrolls

 

Samaria (Sabastia)

 

Shechem

Shechem: Jacob's Well

 

Shiloh: Center of Worship

St. George's Monastery (Wadi Qelt)

Valley of Elah: David & Goliath

Other Sites In Central Israel

Southern Israel Sites

Arad

Beer Sheba: The Patriarchs

 

Bethlehem Overview

Bethlehem: Church of Nativity

 

Bethlehem: David & the Psalms

Bethlehem: Herodian Fortress

 

Bethlehem: Naomi, Ruth, Boaz

 

Bethlehem: Shepherds' Field

En-Gedi: Living Waters

 

Exodus, Red Sea Crossing, Mt. Sinai

 

Hebron Overview

 

Kadesh Barnea

Lachish

 

Masada

 

Mount Sinai

 

Sodom & Gomorrah

 

Timnah: Life of Samson

Timna Park: Tabernacle, Moses

 

Other Sites In Southern Israel

Other Biblical Sites

Noah's Ark & the Great Flood

Holy Land Site

Experience the Holy Land Online!

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